Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Horrible Vision Come Upon .Me

The silence brought me back to myself then, with no idea what I had been thinking. I heard the mercenary barbarian breathing behind me, shifting his weight, tiny creaks from the layers of animal hide he wore for protection. The seer had stopped scratching ink into her papers some moments ago. Slowly, her eyes cleared of the milky fog of the trance and became fully aware. Sharp.
She sat in seeming contemplation of what she'd seen. Whatever she said next, I hoped the papers would be legible.
"So what say you? What saw you?" the barbarian's tone was authoritative; he looked upon her as an underling to be ordered about. I glanced back, annoyed.
"Sssst! The seer is not to be commanded. I hired you to protect, not impose."
The seer's face shifted through inscrutable expressions. Her mouth twitched, but was it a smile? A grimace? Some twisted attempt at both?
"Mmm. Ah! Lahahaa!" she let loose a desperate peal of horrified laughter, then abrupt silence. Her mouth curled into an exaggerated rictus. She moved the carved fingerbone she had written with up to her face, contemplated it for eternal moments as a young man does a fire.
Slowly, deliberately, she plunged it into her right eye. I heard the barbarian's breath go out. He made a start toward her, then noticed I was still.
"We do not-" I whispered to him, then the seer brought her eye out of it's socket and flung it at us, trailing a thin stream of blood and mucus. Both of us recoiled instinctively to avoid it, despite having been the cause of far worse in other places, at other times. She launched herself from her seer's perch and darted past us.
"Forward, backward, illusions!" She shrieked. "Progress into nothing is nothing! It is not flatness, the expanse is forever, there is no threshold! There is no arrival!" At this she plunged herself over the side of the opening, the only other way out besides the endless stairs. I thought of how far we'd climbed through cold stone. How far away the next mountain peak was. We rushed to the edge, yet carefully, and looked over. She was a speck, traveling impossibly far down, getting smaller.
"A point in a void can only refer to itself! There is no..." Her voice no longer reached us.

"I suppose it is good we brought the unburdened mule." The barbarian's eyes still gazed down the mountain, but his mind was already picking through her things. I had no use, at least for now, for the cruft of her past. The papers contained the future of the world.


1 comment: